SOMALIA: Turkish Airlines diverts to Nairobi after security scare in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU — A carrier operated by Turkish Airlines left its Somali passengers stranded in the wrong airport after landing in Kenya rather than their intended destination of Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Friday.
The confusion, an airport official says, stems from security measures that advised the carrier to land from a safe direction to avoid being shot-down by insurgents.
The plane which could not safely land in the given direction due to prevailing winds abandoned the operation all together and dropped its passengers in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport.
The passengers were transferred on Saturday to Nairobi-based and regional carrier, African Express Airways, which flew them back to their intended destination.
On Wednesday (16 May) a similar incident left hundreds of Somali passengers stranded in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, after Turkish Airlines landed there rather than Mogadishu. It’s not clear if Turkish Airlines has paid for their transfer or provided them with accommodations.
The international carrier, the only one of its kind, operates twice-weekly flights to the Somali capital via Khartoum. It departs from Ataturk airport, Istanbul, on Tuesdays and Wednesday and returns Thursdays and Fridays according to its schedules.
Including Mogadishu the Turkish carrier flies to over 190 destinations worldwide.